The master of young adult horror feels a responsibility to his readers.
R.L. Stine–the bestselling author of such YA classics as Goosebumps and Fear Street–believes in telling a spine-chilling tale, but scary real-life things are a no-no.
Stine–in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter–stressed he has one rule in his writing. “The kids have to know that it couldn’t happen,” he said. “They have to know that it’s a fantasy. If I establish that the plot is so absurd–it can never happen in any lifetime–then I can go pretty far with the scares.”
The author added that “it’s a scary world for kids, and I try to keep out a lot of real-life things that might happen to a kid that might be bad and make it pure fantasy.”
That approach isn’t necessary when writing for older readers, Stine said. “When you write for teenagers or adults,” he said, “you have to do the exact opposite. Every detail has to be believable or they’re not gonna buy it.”
The next scheduled small-screen adaptation of one of Stine’s works–Goosebumps–is a live-action, 10-episode series slated for Disney+. Nick Stoller and Rob Letterman will serve as writers and executive producers, with Letterman also directing the first episode.
The series–which doesn’t have a release window at this time–will follow a group of five high schoolers “who unleash supernatural forces upon their town and who must work together in order to save it–learning about their parents’ teenage secrets in the process,” according to the synopsis.
Stine’s Goosebump novels–which have sold more than 400 million English-language units, as well as international editions in 32 languages–contain more than 200 terrifying tales, so there should be plenty of material to draw on for the Disney+ series.
Keep reading Horror News Network for the latest on R.L. Stine and the Disney+ Goosebumps series.